In the UK, it’s estimated one-third of clothing either end up going to landfill or is incinerated. Also, purchases are continuing to be on the rise in the UK ahead of other countries. Around 10 years ago, there was very much a focus on vintage clothing and “make do and mend”, providing a focus on aftercare, whether it’s how you clean, store, or repair the item of clothing.
This has got to be key to create a vintage concept, right? So how do we create a vintage for the future?
Textiles take-back schemes, where customers donate unwanted clothing to retailers to be reused or recycled, are a key part of developing a more circular fashion industry. High street retailers such as M&S, H&M, Tesco, and others have done this successfully. Luxury brands are also examining how they can operate in this space.
Ultimately, the garments can end up in a number of different places, depending on their condition. Their condition is determined by how well they are made, how often they are worn, and how they are cared for.
If the garment condition is poor, it is likely to end up in the garbage, because the wearer doesn’t believe the item is good enough to be donated. Although, charity shops will take in any item, and then either sell it in the shop or sell it to (for want of a better term) the “ragman.”
If the garment is in very good condition, then it becomes much more of a commercial proposition to the consumer. They can either sell via “Vintage” sites, such as Depop or Vinted, or transact directly with a retailer.
Great care is vital if more clothes are going to be commercially viable. If this can be achieved by using a sustainable aftercare solution, then even better.
GreenEarth cleaning has started to work with brands to encourage just that. There are two key elements of the GreenEarth proposition that support the concept.
Closed-loop system. Dry cleaning machines are sophisticated in that they look after every part of the process.—cleaning, drying, and also the collection of waste. This is different from wet cleaning, in that with GreenEarth Cleaning, no microfibers of microplastic will escape into the waterways and ultimately the world’s oceans.
An environmentally non-toxic cleaning solution that loves clothes as much as it loves the planet. The 100% pure D5 liquid silicone used exclusively in the GreenEarth branded process is a by-product of sand and is safe for clothes, people, and the planet. Silicone cleans more gently, reducing wear and tear on fabrics, maintaining the soft hand of fabrics, and prevents shrinkage.
The work we do with brands includes care labeling, customer and colleague communications, and cleaning after they’ve been handed back. Starting to clean with GreenEarth at the beginning of the garment’s life means that it will maintain its condition, and a GreenEarth clean after it’s handed back means that it will be clean, will look great, and will provide the maximum financial reward for the consumer and the retailer—a win-win!
The consumer can make money on their old item and potentially save on a new item. The retailer can buy back at a good price and even by paying for a cleaning price, they can still sell at a lower price combined with few additional costs (normally associated with garment production) they can see a reasonable profit margin.
We will be talking about the projects that we are involved within the near future, so watch this space! To find out more about the innovative concept of GreenEarth Cleaning, please visit our FAQ page.
By: Garry Knox